Salts and Suits is the amazing true story of how a group of young beach bums turned their passion for riding big waves into the world's fastest growing leisure industry, surviving wipe-outs, drug busts, rip-offs, recessions and the constant pressure to act and dress like grown-ups. Still the darlings of Wall Street despite recent downturns, surfing's biggest brands have crossed the billion dollar threshold by thinking big and staying cool … and that's a hell of a balancing act. Drawing on more than 200 interviews with industry figures and the idiosyncratic founders of the leading brands, Phil Jarratt details the long and bloody battle between the ‘salts' and the ‘suits' to control the industry as it hit the radar screens of the broader youth market. Tracing the development of surf's biggest brands as they emerged from sleepy beach towns on both sides of the Pacific, he paints a compelling picture of the free-wheeling, hedonistic lifestyle that gave birth to a multi-billion dollar industry almost in spite of itself. Salts and Suits is an inspiring and often hilarious account of surfing's long ride from Beach Boulevard to Wall Street.
The beach bum entrepreneurs who started it all - characters like ‘Claw' Warbrick, Brian Singer, Duke Boyd, Jeff Hakman, Bob McKnight, Jim Jenks, Alan Green, ‘Greasy' Merchant and Jack O'Neill - are still involved, some are mega-millionaires, some just struggling by while others milk their creations. This book tells their stories, but more importantly, it tells the story of how, in business, passion can sometimes trump conventional wisdom, and the heart can overrule the head.